Ticks are back!
Photo of male and female adult blacklegged ticks on a sesame seed bun to demonstrate relative size. Photo credit: CDC
The warm weather is returning and the sun is shining, that means more time spent outdoors. After being cooped up for the long Winter months, it's refreshing to be able to get back out there!
We are not the only thing to settle down for the Winter, only to reemerge when the melting and thawing are over.
This is the time of year when ticks rear their ugly little heads and we need to be ready for them!
According to the CDC tick exposure can occur year-round, but ticks are most active during warmer months (April-September).
Knowing which type of tick is common in your local region can help you to determine what steps are best at preventing tick bites.
According to the CDC Geographical Map the most common ticks to inhabit the Northeast are listed below.
American Dog and Brown Dog tick:
- Widely distributed east of the Rocky Mountains. Also occurs in limited areas on the Pacific Coast.
- Transmits: Tularemia and Rocky Mountain spotted fever.
- The highest risk of being bitten occurs during spring and summer. Dog ticks are sometimes called wood ticks. Adult females are most likely to bite humans.
Blacklegged tick (AKA Deer Tick):
- Widely distributed across the eastern United States.
- Transmits: Borrelia burgdorferi and B. mayonii (which cause Lyme disease), Anaplasma phagocytophilum (anaplasmosis), B. miyamotoi disease (a form of relapsing fever), Ehrlichia muris eauclairensis (ehrlichiosis), Babesia microti (babesiosis), and Powassan virus (Powassan virus disease).
- The greatest risk of being bitten exists in the spring, summer, and fall. However, adults may be out searching for a host any time winter temperatures are above freezing. Stages most likely to bite humans are nymphs and adult females.
So, how can we best avoid these guys while still enjoying the great outdoors?
We should first know where to expect ticks.
Ticks live in grassy, brushy, or wooded areas, or even on animals. Spending time outside walking your dog, camping, gardening, or hunting could bring you in close contact with ticks. Many people get ticks in their own yard or neighborhood.
Treat clothing and gear with products containing 0.5% permethrin. Permethrin can be used to treat boots, clothing and camping gear and remain protective through several washings.
*If you are an avid camper or hiker you can buy permethrin-treated clothing and gear.
Use a chemical repellent with DEET, permethrin or picaridin.
Wear light-colored protective clothing.
Tuck pant legs into socks.
Avoid tick-infested areas if possible and stick to the middle of trails when walking them.
Make sure to check yourself and your pets as soon as you come in. It's important to check your clothing as well because ticks may be carried into the house on them and any gear that you or your pet may be wearing.
Any ticks that are found should be removed.
You can tumble dry clothes in a dryer on high heat for 10 minutes to kill ticks on dry clothing after you come indoors.
If the clothes require washing first, hot water is recommended. Cold and medium temperature water won't kill ticks.
The CDC recommends showering within 2 hours of coming inside because it has shown to reduce the risk of getting Lyme disease as well as other tick born diseases. It will also help to wash away any ticks that haven't latched on yet and gives you the opportunity to do an all over body check.
When doing a body check on yourself or your children, pay attention to these areas:
- Under the arms
- In and around the ears
- Inside belly button
- Back of the knees
- In and around the hair
- Between the legs
- Around the waist
Let's look forward to a fun and active Summer free of ticks!!
Keeping Covid at a distance
Let's keep Covid away!
Mask mandates are being lifted in most states due to the downswing in Covid cases overall in the US.
As life begins to go back to normal, this is a reminder to us that we can take precautions to prevent the spread of Covid in the future by following the CDC recommendations.
Not all storms come in the form of a weather related disaster; some storms can't be seen. But; they can still be prepared for.
The CDC is still striving to continuously gather data and information in an attempt to give us the most current information available.
Pandemics are something most of us have not had to deal with in our lifetime but are something that we have seen before.
A pandemic is a disease outbreak that spans several countries and affects a large number of people. Pandemics are most often caused by viruses, like Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), which can easily spread from person to person.
A new virus, like COVID-19, can emerge from anywhere and quickly spread around the world. It is hard to predict when or where the next new pandemic will emerge.
According to the CDC, if a pandemic is declared, there are some basic steps to follow.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds and try not to touch your eyes, nose or mouth.
- Keep a distance of at least six feet between yourself and people who are not part of your household.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a mask when in public
- Clean and disinfect high-touch objects and surfaces.
- Stay at home as much as possible to prevent the spread of disease.
Follow the guidance of the CDC
How to Prepare Yourself for a Pandemic
In addition to what we have already learned during the Covid outbreak, following the recommendations below can save you time and allow you to focus on what's important.
Learn how diseases spread to help protect yourself and others. Viruses can be spread from person to person, from a non-living object to a person and by people who are infected but don’t have any symptoms.
Prepare for the possibility of schools, workplaces and community centers being closed. Investigate and prepare for virtual coordination for school, work (telework) and social activities.
Gather supplies in case you need to stay home for several days or weeks. Supplies may include cleaning supplies, non-perishable foods, prescriptions and bottled water. Buy supplies slowly to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to buy what they need.
Create an emergency plan so that you and your family know what to do and what you will need in case an outbreak happens. Consider how a pandemic may affect your plans for other emergencies.
Review your health insurance policies to understand what they cover, including telemedicine options.
Create password-protected digital copies of important documents and store in a safe place. Watch out for scams and fraud.
Preparation is key to any disaster or storm and we've covered what you can do to be as prepared as you can be. The CDC offers much information on how you can keep yourself safe during and after a pandemic.
Staying safe and prepared for ANY disaster is the SERVPRO way!
Which Fire Extinguisher should I use?
Do you know how to put this fire out?
Know your fire types so that you can be prepared.
Not all fires are the same and that means not all fires are handled the same. For example, you would never want to throw water onto a grease fire. Learning about fire, can save your life.
Let's take a look at the different types of fires and their classification.
Class A: Ordinary Combustibles
- Other ordinary materials
Class B: Flammable Liquids
- Other flammable Liquids
Class C: Electrical Equipment
Class D: Combustible Metals
- Combustible metal and metal alloys such as Aluminum and Magnesium.
Class K: Combustible Cooking
- Cooking Vessels
- Vegetable oils
- Animal Fats
- kitchen fires
Now that we have learned about the different types and classifications of fire, Let's find out which extinguisher is appropriate for each fire type.
There are a few different types of fire extinguishers available and each serves it's own purpose.
Types of extinguishers:
Water: This extinguisher is for use on Class A fires.
This type is used on paper, wood, coal, cardboard and other solid fuel fires.
Foam: This extinguisher is for use on Class A and B fires.
- This type can be used on paper, wood, coal, cardboard and other solid fuel fires. This type is used on paper, wood, coal, cardboard and other solid fuel fires.
Powder: This extinguisher is for use on Class A,B,C,D and Electrical.
- This type is used on paper, wood, coal, cardboard and other solid fuel fires.
- This type can also be used on flammable liquids, Flammable Metals, Flammable Gases and Electrical.
CO2:This extinguisher is for use on Class B and Electrical fires.
- This type is used on Flammable Liquids and Electrical fires.
Wet Chemical: This extinguisher is for use on Class A and K fires.
- This type is used on paper, wood, coal, cardboard and other solid fuel fires
- Cooking Oil fires such as a deep fat fryer.
Fires spread quick and can be deadly!
Knowing what type of fire extinguisher to use and having it readily available can make all the difference in the world.
If you have any questions about fire remediation or just want to learn more about fire prevention; give us a call at 603-298-6942 or visit our website for blogs and more.
Commercial Duct Work Cleaning
Is your duct work dirty?
Is my duct work dirty? Should I have it checked?
The ventilation system within your commercial space is key to your air quality.
Estimates made by the World Health Organization say that poor indoor air quality cost $60 Billion in employee sick leave and lost production.
Poor air quality can spread illness, cause respiratory irritation, and cause employees to feel drowsy or apathetic. In some cases, it can spread illness and cause employees to become sick frequently.
You don’t want to keep the air in your commercial space too dry nor too humid. Both ends of the humidity spectrum cause health issues and can make your staff uncomfortable. Instead, try to keep the humidity level in your building between 40 and 50 percent.
The ventilation system is often the biggest culprit in poor indoor air quality. Inspecting the ductwork must be a high priority.
In most cases, the HVAC system has been operating for some time without much attention. Dirty ducts can circulate odors, contaminants such as mold and irritating dust throughout your office building.
Another problem that affects ductwork in commercial businesses is when input and output vents become blocked by boxes, equipment, furniture or dust. This reduces the free flow of air through ducting systems and, by association, reduces air circulation throughout the entire commercial building.
Part of your responsibility to the tenants, workers, and/or students who work and play in your buildings includes proper maintenance and prompt response to any situation that could cause illness or health concerns.
SERVPRO of Lebanon/Hanover/Littleton can help:
- Remediate bacteria, fungi and mold
- Reduce potential for mold growth
- Restore peak energy efficiency
- Eliminate offensive odors
SERVPRO of Lebanon/Hanover/Littleton will inspect your HVAC system and ductwork. This inspection can save you money and provide peace of mind on the health of your HVAC system and ductwork.
To schedule a duct cleaning or inspection call 603-298-6942.
Like it never even happened
local businesses suffer from flooding
2022 has been a wet one.
Between the rain and snow storms, now the snow melting; we have been inundated with water losses.
Spring has sprung and local businesses have been dealing with one water loss after another.
What are some of the things that SERVPRO can do when my business suffers storm damage?
Flooded business dry Out:
- Pump Deep Water
- Carpet Water removal
- Moisture Test walls
- Set up Drying Equipment
- Apply Antimicrobials
- Test Drying Complete
Acting quickly is key!
Leaving water or moisture can cause damage to the rest of the structure as well as where the damage occurred. Imagine the condensation that could happen when it's 90* outside.
The concrete or cement blocks used to construct basements and buildings are susceptible to mold growth as well as odor.
Imagine all of the exposed framing. Framing lumber does and will absorb moisture and thus, grow mold. The metal framing ties may not be porous enough for mold growth; but they will corrode.
How about the plumbing and wiring?
Again, any metal parts can and most likely will corrode with excess moisture in the air.
The insulation! Perfect for mold growth!
SERVPRO of Lebanon / Hanover / Littleton has the training, experience, and equipment to handle large commercial flooding or water damage emergencies.
Whether your water emergency occurs in a small office building or big box store, we will respond quickly to mitigate the damage and manage the restoration project through to its completion.
If you have a flooding situation, SERVPRO of Lebanon/Hanover/Littleton are prepared and ready! Call 603-298-6942 24hours a day, 365 days a year!
"Like it never even happened."
Flash Flooding in the Upper Valley
Be prepared for flash flooding
The Summer months are not that far away and it got me thinking about warm weather preparedness..
We think about vacations, going to the beach and just enjoying the hazy days of Summer. We are lucky in the Upper Valley that we don't often have to deal with damaging storms that other parts of the country do.
The Upper Valley has been unfortunate enough to have been stricken with drought conditions and sudden heavy rains the past couple of Summers leading to flash flooding, locally in the Lebanon area where numerous roads were washed away leaving some stranded until the roads could be repaired.
Preparation for the Summer months is just as important as preparing for the Winter months.
So, what can we do to prepare for flooding and sudden Summer storms?
According to ReadyGov flooding is a temporary overflow of water onto land that is normally dry and floods are the most common natural disaster in the United States.
Floods can result from rain, snow ,storms surges and more, floods can develop slowly or quickly. Flash floods come with no warning.
If you are under a flood warning you should find shelter immediately and NEVER drive through or walk through flood waters,6 inches of water can knock you down and 1 foot of water can sweep away your vehicle.
Having the necessary supplies at home is important if you find yourself living on a washed out road and without electricity as we did in Lebanon Two years in a row.
Learn and practice evacuation routes, shelter plans, and flash flood response. Gather supplies, including non-perishable foods, cleaning supplies, medications and water for several days, in case you must leave immediately or if services are cut off in your area.
For information on how you can receive alerts, follow this helpful link: Alerts
Stay safe during the Summer months and remember that SERVPRO is just a phone call if you need us! 603-298-6942 #stayprepared
Children and Youth Preparedness
Children and Youth Preparedness for disasters and emergencies of all kinds.
Preparing for a disaster as an adult can be overwhelming and taxing, especially if you have children to factor into all of your decisions.
If you plan ahead, you can involve your children in all of the steps that need to be taken. The more prepared your child is, the less anxiety they will feel if an emergency or disaster occurs.
Let's start with the basics
- Teach your child how to dial 911 BEFORE an emergency and show your child the steps for calling 911 on your mobile phone.
- Make sure your child can say his/her first and last name clearly and provide his/her address or location.
- Teach your child to identify a location by buildings, signs or other landmarks. Some 911 centers cannot automatically locate a caller.
- Most of us now have cell phones with us wherever we go, which is great in an emergency situation ,but ,most of us have lock screens on our phones for security, as we should. It's important to teach your children how to unlock your phone in the case of an emergency.
- Go over your mobile phone's keypad several times to help your child become familiar with making a call.
- Have your child practice making a phone call from your mobile phone by calling a family member or friend. Remember not to actually call 911 with your child, unless it's an emergency.
Having people set up as your "emergency contact" is very important. Who’s your emergency contact? Make sure the kids know who it is and how to contact them. Pick the same person for each family member to contact. Pick someone out of town as they may be easier to reach in a disaster.
Make an emergency plan with your family and make sure that your emergency contact and school know the plan in case your child is in school when a disaster occurs.
Things to consider when making a plan
- Your family may not be together if a disaster strikes, so it is important to know which types of disasters could affect your area.
- Know how you’ll contact one another and reconnect if separated.
- Establish a family meeting place that’s familiar and easy to find.
Practice, practice, practice!
Have an emergency kit ready for your child. Include medications that your child takes as well as some comfort items such as stuffed animals, board games and books.
Get kids involved in building their own emergency kit! Make it a family activity or part of a game and explain how the kit and the items in it will help them.
For a more detailed list of items that should go in your kit, follow this helpful link: Build A Kit
Let's stay prepared!
Winter Storm Preparedness 2.0
Winter has most definitely arrived in the Upper Valley! The snow is falling and the temps have dropped.
This got me thinking about preparedness in 2022!
Things have changed in recent years and we are all living in a different reality, let's take a look at how this will affect or change the things we need to take care of ourselves and our loved ones during the Winter months..
What you should know about Winter Weather.
- Know what to do before, during, and after a winter storm.
- Listen to local officials.
- Have emergency supplies in place at home, at work, and in the car.
- Stay off the road during and after a winter storm. Allow the plow trucks to do their work.
- Have a carbon monoxide alarm in place, especially if using alternative heating devices.
- Use safe heating devices.
Winter storms create a higher risk of car accidents, hypothermia, frostbite, carbon monoxide poisoning, and heart attacks from overexertion. Winter storms including blizzards can bring extreme cold, freezing rain, snow, ice and high winds.
A winter storm can:
- Last a few hours or several days.
- Cut off heat, power and communication services.
- Put older adults, children, sick individuals and pets at greater risk.
Preparing your home for Winters arrival is important.
- Prepare your home to keep out the cold with insulation, caulking and weather stripping.
- Learn how to keep pipes from freezing in your home.
- Install and test smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors with battery backups.
- Gather supplies in case you need to stay home for several days without power.
- Keep in mind each person’s specific needs, including medication and don't forget masks..
- Remember the needs of your pets.
- Have extra batteries for radios and flashlights.
If you are unable to afford your heating costs, weatherization or energy-related home repairs, contact the LIHEAP for help.
Avoid carbon monoxide poisoning.
Only use generators and grills outdoors and away from windows. Never heat your home with a gas stovetop or oven.
In case of an emergency
Be prepared for winter weather at home, at work and in your car. Create an emergency supply kit for your car. Include jumper cables, sand, a flashlight, warm clothes, blankets, bottled water and non-perishable snacks. Keep a full tank of gas.
**If you are able to, set aside items like soap, hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol, disinfecting wipes, and general household cleaning supplies that you can use to disinfect surfaces you touch regularly.
Stay off roads if at all possible. If trapped in your car, then stay inside.
Limit your time outside. If you need to go outside, then wear layers of warm clothing. Watch for signs of frostbite and hypothermia.
Reduce the risk of a heart attack by avoiding overexertion when shoveling snow and walking in the snow.
Pets and Disasters
Prepare Your Pets for Disasters
Our pets are an important part of our families and we need to take them into consideration when we are planning for disasters.
When preparing for the unexpected, follow these helpful tips to keep your companions safe.
Make a plan
Having a plan in place for your pets will eliminate unneeded stress at a time when calm is needed.
Things that should be included in your plan:
- Have an evacuation plan for your pet. Many public shelters and hotels do not allow pets inside. Know a safe place where you can take your pets before disasters and emergencies happen.
- Develop a buddy system. Plan with neighbors, friends or relatives to make sure that someone is available to care for or evacuate your pets if you are unable to do so.
- Have your pet microchipped. Make sure to keep your address and phone number up-to-date and include contact information for an emergency contact outside of your immediate area.
- Contact your local emergency management office, animal shelter or animal control office to get additional advice and information if you’re unsure how to care for your pet in case of an emergency.
Build a Kit for Your Pet
Some items that you may want to include in your emergency kit:
- Food. Keep several days’ supply of food in an airtight, waterproof container.
- Water. Store a water bowl and several days’ supply of water.
- Medicine. Keep an extra supply of the medicine your pet takes on a regular basis in a waterproof container.
- First aid kit. Talk to your veterinarian about what is most appropriate for your pet’s emergency medical needs.
- Collar with ID tag and a harness or leash. Include a backup leash, collar and ID tag. Have copies of your pet’s registration information and other relevant documents in a waterproof container and available electronically.
- Traveling bag, crate or sturdy carrier, ideally one for each pet.
- Grooming items. Pet shampoo, conditioner and other items, in case your pet needs some cleaning up.
- Sanitation needs. Include pet litter and litter box (if appropriate), newspapers, paper towels, plastic trash bags and household chlorine bleach to provide for your pet’s sanitation needs.
- A picture of you and your pet together. If you become separated from your pet during an emergency, a picture of you and your pet together will help you document ownership and allow others to assist you in identifying your pet.
- Familiar items. Put favorite toys, treats or bedding in your kit. Familiar items can help reduce stress for your pet.
Tips for Large Animals
If you have pets such as horses, goats or pigs on your property, be sure to prepare before a disaster.
In addition to the tips above, you may want to consider these for your larger animals:
- Ensure all animals have some form of identification.
- Evacuate animals earlier, whenever possible. Map out primary and secondary routes in advance.
- Make available vehicles and trailers needed for transporting and supporting each type of animal. Also make available experienced handlers and drivers.
- Ensure destinations have food, water, veterinary care and handling equipment.
- If evacuation is not possible, animal owners must decide whether to move large animals to a barn or turn them loose outside.
- Always listen to local officials and wireless emergency alerts and ALWAYS bring your pets indoors at the first warning of a storm or disaster.
For more tips contact SERVPRO at 603-298-6942 or visit https://www.ready.gov/pets.
Holiday Safety facts 2.0
The holidays are so much fun, especially for the kids!
Gathering with family, wrapping presents, putting up the tree, the smells of delicious foods and treats abound. We ALL want a safe holiday season and here are some facts to keep you having fun throughout the whole holiday season.
Did you know that electrical distribution or lighting equipment was involved in almost half of home Christmas tree fires?
According to NFPA
Nearly one in five Christmas tree fires were started by decorative lights. Eight percent were started by candles.
Roughly two of every five home Christmas tree fires started in the living room.
Christmas tree & decoration fires
Carefully decorating your home can help make your holidays safer. Between 2015-2019, U.S. fire departments responded to an average of 160 home fires that started with Christmas trees per year. U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated average of 790 home structure fires per year that began with decorations, excluding Christmas trees.
As Christmas trees dry out, they become more and more flammable. Thirty percent of Christmas tree fires were in January. Although Christmas tree fires are not common, they can grow very fast.
U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated average of 790 home structure fires per year that began with decorations, excluding Christmas trees, in 2015-2019. These fires caused an annual average of one civilian fire death, 26 civilian fire injuries and $13 million in direct property damage.
Year-round, more than one-third of home decoration fires were started by candles. Cooking started 19 percent of decoration fires, 12 percent involved electrical distribution and lighting equipment, heating equipment was involved in 11 percent, 8 percent were intentionally set, and smoking materials started 7 percent.
Between 2015-2019, U.S. fire departments responded to an average of 7,400 home fires that were started by candles. These fires caused an average of 90 civilian deaths, 670 civilian injuries and $291 million in direct property damage.
On average, 20 home candle fires were reported each day between 2015-2019.
Candle fires peak in December and January with 11 percent of candle fires in each of these months.
Christmas is the peak day for candle fires with roughly 2.5 times the daily average.
Cooking equipment was involved in one of every five (19%) of home decoration fires.
This can happen when a decoration is left on or too close to a stove or other cooking equipment.
In 2019, the three leading dates for home structure fires caused by cooking were, Thanksgiving, Christmas day and Christmas Eve.
For more information on how to keep your family safe in the kitchen this holiday season, follow this informative link: Cooking Safety
For more fire tips and tricks, visit our SERVPRO fire blogs at Fire Safety
"Like it never even happened."